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The Vault

2.7mm Kolibri Semiauto at RIA

Today’s item at the September Rock Island auction is an example of the smallest centerfire pistol ever made – a 2.7mm Kolibri semiauto. About a thousand of these were made between 1910 and 1914, firing a 3-grain projectile at about 650 fps (for a total of 3 ftlb of muzzle energy). It may be insanely [...]

Handmade Auto-Revolver at RIA

This very odd one-off pistol first appeared in a 1958 Golden State Arms catalog, with no description of its history or mechanical design. I have often seen it referred to as an automatic revolver, but this is a misconception – what appears to be a cylinder is actually a rotary magazine, akin to a Ruger [...]

Krnka 1895 Semiauto Pistol at RIA

This prototype 1895 Krnka automatic pistol is another of the items up for sale at the upcoming Rock Island Premier Auction. This pistol, serial number 7, was the first in the developmental line that led to the 1907 Roth-Steyr cavalry pistol.

Folding 1911 Shoulder Stock

Colt 1911 with unusual folding wire shoulder stock

From Tom Laemlein:

Colt 1911 with unusual folding wire shoulder stock (click to enlarge)

A few years back I found these photos of a Marine Corps modification of the standard M1911 .45 caliber pistol. Unfortunately there was no accompanying documentation. A unique folding extension stock—it would interesting to know if any of [...]

Thumb-Safety Glock

(photo and text by Miles Vining)

Trials Glock with thumb safety (photo by Miles Vining, courtesy UK National Firearms Centre, Leeds)

One of the more revolutionary and innovative features of the Glock series of handguns is in their signature slogan “GLOCK Safe Action”. This is based on the fact that although [...]

Slow Motion: Frommer Stop

This week’s slow motion gun is the Frommer Stop, put into production in 1912. The Hungarian designer Rudolf Frommer was responsible for a series of long-recoil pistols, of which the Stop was the last and best. It is chambered for 7.65mm Frommer, which is identical in size to the .32 ACP but loaded slightly hotter. [...]

Mauser 1912/14 Automatic Pistol (Video)

The Mauser 1912/14 automatic pistol was the final stage of a dead-end development track for a military sidearm in 9mm Parabellum made by Mauser. The program began as a plain blowback pistol in 1909, which did not work effectively, and was replaced by a series of different locked or semilocked systems culminating in this, the [...]

Slow Motion: Colt All American 2000

The All-American 2000 was Colt’s attempt to compete with Glock for the military and police service pistol market. It had a polymer frame (except a few early ones with aluminum frames), a double-action-only striker firing system, double-stack magazines, and used a rotating barrel to lock. The design was originally the brainchild of C. Reed Knight [...]

C96 High-Speed Video and Smith-Condit article

Now that I have this high speed camera to use, I am going to be making high-speed video a regular weekly feature, at least until I run out of guns to film this way. Today’s is (by popular request) the Mauser C96 “Broomhandle”:

If I can get another chance to shoot a Schnellfeuer, you [...]

Slow Motion Schwarzlose 1908

I am getting high speed footage of a bunch of interesting pistols right off the bat now that I have my Edgertronic camera, and one that has been on my list ever since I first shot it was the Schwarzlose 1908. It’s a very fast action, and my initial attempts at high speed a year [...]